Seven, lucky seven: These Baltimore Orioles are a resurgent bunch, aren't they? Anytime we get close to writing off their 2012 by labeling them a nice first-half story, they snap back into place with a few good wins.
That was really evident on Tuesday night after Baltimore surrendered five runs to the New York Yankees in the first-inning, roared back with seven of its own in the second and then cruised to an 11-5 victory in the Bronx. The win only allowed the O's to finish July with a 13-14 record — their first sub-.500 month all season — but it also ran their winning streak to three and set the table for a possible sweep on Wednesday. Are the O's in it for the long haul or are they just riding out some residual good karma fumes generated by Lew Ford's promotion (my pal Laurence's theory)? They've come this far with a -51 run differential so write whatever theory you want. It'll make sense no matter what you come up with.
Tuesday's win was keyed by Chris Davis' first career grand slam in the second inning. It came off Yankees starter Ivan Nova, who allowed a career-high nine runs in five innings.
Seven, lucky seven, Pt. II: The Atlanta Braves rode an offensive outburst and Kris Medlen's solid outing (in his first start since 2010) to a 7-1 win over Miami. The victory was the Braves' seventh straight win and, paired with Philly's 8-0 win over Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals, brought Atlanta to within 2 1/2 games of the NL East lead.
Seven, lucky seven, Pt. III: Good Timmy surfaced in San Francisco again on Tuesday night as Tim Lincecum struck out seven New York Mets in seven innings en route to a 4-1 win for the Giants. San Francisco is 3-1 in Lincecum's starts since the All-Star break.
"He pitched like the Timmy we know," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters.
Burnett comes close: Dave Brown has more on this game, but A.J. Burnett almost added a book-end no-hitter to his nine-walk masterpiece from 2001. Alas, it wasn't to be as Cubs call-up Adrian Cardenas poked out a single with two outs in the eighth inning of a 5-0 Pirates victory at Wrigley Field.
Saved by the rain: If the Tigers end up missing the postseason by a game, Tuesday night's 4-1 rain-shortened loss to Boston will be a tough one to take. Detroit had loaded the bases in the top of the sixth and the go-ahead run was at the plate when the showers started. The game was called 1 hour, 45 minutes later, tagging the Tigers with a loss that might not have been. Still, Jim Leyland supported the umpire's decision and went home without complaint. "We put ourselves in an unfortunate situation," he said.
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Quote of the day
"Still trying to get ketchup out of my ears."
— Seattle's Brendan Ryan, who was showered in ketchup and beer after notching three hits in a 7-2 win over Toronto. It's the first time since April 21 that his batting average has been on the right side of .200.
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Photo of the day: Tangled up in blue
Is an opposing manager taking a curtain call on the road an improbable and impossible thought? Not when you're D-backs manager Kirk Gibson and they're handing out thousands of your 1988 World Series bobbleheads at Dodger Stadium. Gibby got the last laugh as the conquering hero, too, with Wade Miley and Arizona taking home an 8-2 win and moving to within 3 1/2 games of the NL West lead.
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Three facts for the water cooler
• Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez extended his Coors Field hitting streak to 29 games in an 11-6 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday. The team record is 30 games, held by Larry Walker.
• Mike Trout scored two runs in Los Angeles' 6-2 win over Texas, giving him 80 runs in 81 games this year and tying a major-league rookie record with 32 runs in July.
• Tampa Bay's 8-0 win over Oakland took just 2 hours and 37 minutes to complete, one night after the two teams took 5 hours and 9 minutes to finish a 15-inning game.